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director Park Chan-wook sinks his teeth into the vampire subgenre in this audacious though overlong tale of sin and redemption. Taking another twisted journey into the heart of human darkness, the South Korean innovator uses bloodsucking as the ultimate moral challenge for altruistic small-town priest Sang-hyun (
Song Kang-ho) after an infected transfusion leaves him undead. Sang-hyun's consequent craving for blood is matched by a new thirst for sex, making him doubly question his faith when he begins a destructive affair with an unhappily married woman (Kim Ok-vin). The macabre farce that ensues borrows from Emile Zola's
, ramping up the 19th-century novel's key plot points with stylish visuals that even give the film's visceral splashes of eroticism and violence an intoxicating beauty. Nonetheless, it's Park's balancing act between horror, gallows humour and poignant emotion that is the Cannes winner's greatest strength, ensuring the rambling narrative remains compelling despite its increasingly illogical development.
A selfless priest devotes his life to helping the patients at a hospital. When doctors working on a vaccine for a deadly virus need a human guinea pig, he volunteers - but the procedure goes wrong, and he is turned into a vampire with an unquenchable desire for blood and sex. Horror from the director of Oldboy, starring Kang-ho Song and Ok-vin Kim. In Korean, English and French.
Cast & Crew
Korean, English +subtitles
Violence, swearing, sex scenes.
DVD and Blu-ray
16 Oct 2009
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